Vaguely Interesting Snippets | 18 March 2014

The site of the former US Embassy in Tehran is now a museum to the ‘Great Satan’

The New York Times provides this article on the fate of the former US Embassy: “The old American Embassy building in the heart of this capital city was recently opened to tours for Westerners. It is now a museum run by the Revolutionary Guard and its Basiji paramilitary allies, where they keep alive a paranoid narrative of American malice and deceit by showcasing dust-encrusted spy equipment and a modern mural of alleged American perfidies.”

Italy was only officially declared malaria free in the 1960s

Italy was historically badly affected by malaria – the name itself deriving from the Italian mal aria or bad air. The disease became so identified with Italy and, in particular, Tuscany, that it acquired another name: Roman Fever.

As David Gilmour notes in the excellent The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples, ‘it was not until 1962 that Italy was officially declared a malaria-free country.’